Usually, we see C for 45 minutes, drive to B’s baby home to see him for 45 minutes, get in an hour of site-seeing, eat lunch, visit with C for 45 minutes to an hour, drive once again to B’s home and play with him for a final 45 minutes to an hour. (Whew! Are you tired just reading that?!) However, today we thought it best to spend a larger block of time with B. At his age, it takes more time to break down the barriers and sometimes feel that just when we’re making a breakthrough, it’s time to go. So we spent a good hour and half, hour and forty-five minutes with him this morning. I would say it definitely paid off!
We started our play time outside, at the request of his caregivers, since they usually get a set amount of time each day to play outside. We were equipped with a red plastic shovel and a HUGE snow suit, green mittens and a pink hat for our little guy. Yes, a pink hat. All bundled up, we ventured off into the snow.
We took a walk around back where we stopped to play with his shovel. He wasn’t too interested. I took out his favorite toy—the stacking cups—to see if that created a better response. He loved watching Mama dig in the snow with the cups and make the snow fall as I was pouring it out. B wanted to get involved too, however the green mittens that were sewed onto his snowsuit were sewed on the wrong hands. The poor guy wasn’t able to really grasp anything. We took a look around, scoped out the play area to see who was around and took off his gloves (GASP!) so that he could play.
Side Note: Russians like to bundle up their children—and I mean bundle like you’ve never seen! They shouldn’t go anywhere outside without a hat, no matter the weather. And heaven forbid if you can see any piece of skin other than their cheeks while outside in the Russian winter! As I mentioned in my previous post, renovations were being done on the entrance we usually used to get to his group. The work created a draft in that section of the baby home, and because of that, every time B was taken out of his group’s main room and down that inside stairwell he was made to wear a winter hat despite the inside temperature being above 80 degrees.
It takes a real man to wear pink. Just ask my husband!
Back inside, we played more with his stacking cups and the toy truck which we had brought and left on our first trip. We also noticed that his outfits yesterday and today both included items that we had donated on our last trip. We thought that was sweet! His favorite thing to do today…? Get his belly tickled! He just absolutely LOVED that and laughed and laughed and laughed! There is nothing like the sound of your own child’s laugh, is there? Surprisingly enough, he also really liked getting his nose cleaned up. Unfortunately, because it is so hot and so dry in the baby home, he had a nose bleed from the dry air. We had to clean him up a few times and each time smiled and giggled as if we were playing a game! What two-year-old loves getting his nose cleaned?!
After visiting B we were off to meet with another representative from our agency who prepared us for court as we ate lunch. She went over the basics of what to expect and explained who would be present in the court room. It’s nerve-wracking when you think of it. I mean, how many mothers have to go before a judge before they can be parents? (Oh the exceptional lengths we as adoptive parents go to for our children!) I’m sure everything will be just fine, but still… Please say a prayer for us…
On the way to lunch, the sun came out! Believe me when I say that it is a rarity here in St. Petersburg this time of year. Our translator explained to us that the sun fully comes out from behind the clouds only three to five times in November and December. What a blessing we were in for! We stopped real quick to check out the palace square, where we saw the magnificence that is the Winter Palace! It’s breathtaking, really. Especially in the snow.
All the Hunters had on pink today!
C is not walking yet and is unsteady on her feet if left to stand by herself, but I’m sure with some more one-on-one attention, she’ll develop and grow like crazy! Just like her brother. B isn’t talking much. His caregivers did admit that he doesn’t too say many words yet, which does put him a little behind, but that’s okay! We’ll work on it. I’m sure in just those first few weeks we’ll see so much development among all four of us! One of his caregivers did jokingly say that he doesn’t speak in full Russian sentences yet because he’s saving up his verbal skills for learning English! She said, why waste time on Russian! Hee hee hee…